Assignment Two

Assignment Two - Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100:...

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Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100: Section A07 Ayhan Aytes 3 May 2011 The Complexities in Walking In Michel de Certeau’s essay, “Walking in the City,” he analyzes the way in which the activity of walking can come to create meaning in society. To understand the meaning that is created through walking, three keywords must be defined: flåneur or flåneuse, panopticism, and the gaze. A flåneur is a male individual that is described as a wanderer or stroller. A flåneuse is the feminine form of flåneur that originally referred to the 19 th century working woman. The gaze refers to the power that is held in an individual or group’s gaze, and the power that is found in looking. Conversely, panopticism is the idea that social subjects are always under a scrutinizing, panoptic gaze. This gaze makes us aware of a watchful eye that is always on us, where we are expected to perform a certain way. In this way, we internalize the rules and norms of society to follow that panoptic gaze. Through these three key terms, Certeau pieces together the significance of the activity of walking, using the flåneur and the multiple gazes that the individual encounters. He says that “The long poem of walking manipulates spatial organizations, no matter how panoptic they may be.” Certeau relates walking to that of a poem, meaning that walking creates an abstract meaning and significance just like a poem does. This abstract meaning can be further explained in the example of me as a modern female consumer. By becoming a flåneuse and walking through the public space of a mall, many looking practices occur simultaneously. I am subject to a panoptic hidden gaze and a visible male gaze, but I also practice the power in my own gaze as a consumer walking around the mall. The panoptic gaze that occurs while I stroll around the mall happens in two ways: a
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Yip 2 hidden form and a revealed form. In the quote earlier, Certeau mentions the idea of a panoptic spatial organization. In the context of walking around in a mall, the panoptic spatial organization
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2011 for the course COCU 100 taught by Professor Cartwright during the Spring '11 term at UCSD.

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Assignment Two - Yip 1 Stacey Yip A08671483 COCU 100:...

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